Snyder Budget: Big Boost for Most Schools, More Road Repairs

Gov. Rick Snyder submitted his final budget proposal on Wednesday. Gov. Rick Snyder submitted his final budget proposal on Wednesday. |  Photo: State of Michigan

Created: February 07, 2018 05:28 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - Gov. Rick Snyder is seeking to boost base funding for most of Michigan's public schools by the largest dollar amount in more than 15 years.

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Snyder on Wednesday asked lawmakers for a $240 per-pupil increase for school districts that get the minimum grant - a 3.1 percent boost for more than 75 percent of traditional schools and all charters. Higher-funded schools would get $120 more, a 1.4 percent increase.

Snyder also is proposing to shift $325 million in general funds to road repairs, more than double what's called for under law.

It's the Republican governor's eighth and final budget presentation to the GOP-led Legislature, where a push for tax cuts could conflict with Snyder's spending priorities.

His administration previously announced plans to close a Muskegon-area prison to save money.

One of the largest funding increases included in Snyder's budget proposal would go toward improving court-provided legal defense for poor people accused of crimes.

Snyder said Wednesday the $46 million in proposed spending is needed to comply with a law he signed more than four years ago. He told legislators that if people are accused of crimes and don't have money to hire a lawyer, "they should have a reasonable defense."

The spending would help meet four initial standards approved last year. Those include ensuring that defense counsel is at the defendant's first court appearance and other critical stages, and that the public defender has resources to retain experts.

Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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